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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29984
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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If my dog is admitted to the vets hospital and I sign an

Customer Question

If my dog is admitted to the vets hospital and I sign an initial consent for the specific treatment written in the consent for that specific day should a scenario arise that could require a possible surgery days later unforeseen in that first day would the vet need to get my consent for that unforeseen surgery. And I will let it be known that the particular surgery was an exploratory laparotomy that was not an immediate life or death emergency surgery and the reason being is that prior diagnostic testing were negative for a foreign ingested object, two abdominal ultrasounds were performed along with a barium study as I stated all negative for what my vet thought to be a foreign ingested object...
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 3 months ago.

Hello,

If I understand your question correctly, it sounds like the vet did a exploratory surgery without your authorization. You signed an initial treatment plan for the costs of hospitalization. I cannot vouch for any other terminology contained within the estimate you signed, but generally, yes, I would expect the vet to at least call you at your emergency contact numbers to get your permission to do the surgery.

Now, there can be exceptions. Some treatment plans will include context that states in the event of an emergency, do you authorize the vet to do life-saving treatment. If you initialed that type of statement, that it gets very controvesial whether the consent is truly given.

In reality, I can't personally imagine doing a exploratory surgery without having called you first at every contact number you would have provided me.

I also can't comment whether a procedure was necessary or not necessary based on being life threatening.

It does sound a bit awkward if you were not contacted, at all, prior to surgery.

Hope that information helps.

I am not a lawyer, but just my general opinion on how I operate in my practice.

Dr. Andy

Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 3 months ago.

Hope everything is going okay? I was not sure if I fully answered your question.

Dr. Andy